Turn Customers into Long Term Consulting Clients

You could be a great prospector and appointment setter. You can also be a good closer and provide a quality service. However, until you can turn one-time customers into long-term clients, you cannot build a business.

What follows are some basic best practices to help you increase your repeat business. However, before we get into what you should DO to generate more repeat business, let us look at a few things you need to avoid.

A Few DON’Ts

DON’T deliver poor value – You may get away with a high price-low value the first time, but when they find out you were overpriced, you’re done.

DON’T break the smallest promise – If you said it, do it. Period.

DON’T sell only what you do – Let clients know you have a wealth of contacts in all kinds of industries and they can call you for other needs.

DON’T lose contact after the sale – If you think you can disappear after the sale and have the customer come to you when they are in need again, forget it. Stay in touch!

How to Turn One-Time Clients into Repeat Buyers
The answer is simply to ONLY do business with repeat buyers and long-term clients. That is, treat every sale and every customer as if they are a long-time client with the second order already in process.

Go into every sale with the disposition that this first “initial” sale, is only to begin the relationship. This first sale is just the proving ground. Your entire sales process and interactions should reflect this feeling of “we’ve only just begun” well before you close the first sale.

Start the sales process by projecting that any business conducted now is but a mere proving ground. The initial contract is only the foundation for the future. Constantly talk about the future of your relationship.

Consultant:

“Lisa, again, I really appreciate this project to get us started and you will appreciate how the plan works. Please remember, this is only Phase I. As soon as you begin to see how accurate my projections are and the cash flow picks up, we’ll get together on Phase II.”

“Bob, I appreciate your faith in me for this small initial project and as I mentioned, I’m not going to charge for the onsite hours, to help get our long-term relationship started. But remember, we need to get together during tax season and look at the bigger picture.”

Also, use the vision of future business to help close today’s sale:

“Nick, let’s go with this small project right now, the front office piece, just to get us started. Then, early next year, when you see how well that works out, we can look at going with launching the entire marketing plan, ok?”

Want more repeat business? Make the repeat sale when you make the first sale.


Sean McPheat is regarded as a leading authority on modern day selling. Sean has appeared on CNN, ITV, BBC and has over 250 other media credits to his name. Sean founded MTD Sales Training in 2001 and since then they have helped over 50,000 staff. Please visit Sean’s Sales Blog for his latest musings and tips. Sean also offers free audios, videos and sales tips.

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  • Chris

    The DON’Ts that you mention are so crucial. Too often we forget these and let them slip our minds. Thanks for the post.

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  • Helen James

    I love the “make the second at the first sale” it’s like an embedded command!

    I also like the idea of being a conduit or catalyst – the go to man that people can go to hook people up, thats a really important point.

    Love your articles Sean

    Helen

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  • Excellent article, thank you